Bad Parish -- Get out or try to fix it?

Status
Not open for further replies.
F

Flounder

Guest
The discussion on George who’s thinking of leaving the church got me thinking…

Let’s say you start attending Mass at a parish, or the parish you attend starts changing. Abuses crop up from parishoners or the priest or whatever and you don’t like the way it’s going…Do you stay and try to fix it or pack up and move to another parish?

My Mom left but came back to fight in her’s…my sister-in-law left her’s…and here in my town everyone normal just avoids this one weird parish.

What do you guys think is the right thing to do for you and your family, and/or what would the decision be based on?
 
It would have to depend on how close I felt to the parish, in MINE, yeah I’d fight … if I were new to a place, or just not fully at home there, I’d find somewhere else.

My parish is very large, it has a lot of wonderful social programs but only one very stoggy, but sweet old nun doing a Bible study, so now DH and I are developing a plan to have a sort of modern apologetic Bible Study – it will probably take us a year or two to get our act together but we are at least making an effort!
 
40.png
Flounder:
The discussion on George who’s thinking of leaving the church got me thinking…

Let’s say you start attending Mass at a parish, or the parish you attend starts changing. Abuses crop up from parishoners or the priest or whatever and you don’t like the way it’s going…Do you stay and try to fix it or pack up and move to another parish?

My Mom left but came back to fight in her’s…my sister-in-law left her’s…and here in my town everyone normal just avoids this one weird parish.

What do you guys think is the right thing to do for you and your family, and/or what would the decision be based on?
Work on the irreverent parish (go to Mass there sometime) and go to the reverent parish for Mass.
 
If you have children or other impressionable people in your household, if the parish is so bad that it is actually a threat to a fragile or developing faith, I would get out, at least temporarily, and find a more orthodox parish home. If it is just you and perhaps your spouse who are up for the challenge, I’d say stay and fight. Not in a confrontational manner, but by being part of the solution, i.e., a previous posters efforts to start an apologetics study or orthodox and interesting Bible Study. Planting the seeds of true reform, so to speak.
 
Stay and FIGHT!!!

We can’t keep falling back, running away to more Orthodox Parishes, because someday, there might be no place to run. A Line in the Sand must be drawn. We must stay and fight, because if we don’t, how many people will lose much more staying in that environment without a Catholic Voice? We have a duty to Stay and Fight! We cannot run, we must embrace the fight, throw ourselves into the maelstrom, confident that with the Holy Spirit, Orthodoxy will prevail and Teaching and Proper Praise of God in the Holy Mass will return.
 
The comment about wanting to have the impressionable members of your family at a good Parish is true. My first and formost responsibly is to the religous education of my children and my decision to leave or stay would have to take their well being into consideration.

Beyond that, the answer would need to be based in part on why the Parish was having problems. If the problem is a Pastor who wants to encourage what are obvious liturgical abuses then it may not be worth staying because the Pastor will probably get his way. If it is a Church with a Pastor who sees the problems as originating from either uninformed or liberal laity but who is trying hard to reform his Parish, then I think people who share his vision need to stay and help.
 
I would fight for Christ and His Church anywhere and for as long as it takes. Packing up and leaving is just saying it’s ok if I just look the other way.
 
I don’t see packing up and leaving as saying the abuse is ok. A shift from liturgically mediocre parishes to those that are doing a better job of preserving our faith cannot help but be noticed. Leaving can itself be an act of defiance and a vote for traditional Catholic Parishes

The decision of how to fight (stay and become the voice crying in the wind, or take your family and your support to a better church) is probably situation specific. As I mentioned earlier the root cause of the abuses needs to be understood in order to determine the most effective way to confront the problem.
 
40.png
beng:
Work on the irreverent parish (go to Mass there sometime) and go to the reverent parish for Mass.
This is what we do. We don’t leave because the kids are in the school. (We’re moving out of the area in December, so it would be silly to change schools at this point. We were VERY careful in selecting a parish/school in the new area.)

We go to the heritical/dissident parish for convience. The downside is that we come away angry, which is not the way you are supposed to feel when you leave mass. Just as an example, one of the deacons used the homily 2 weeks ago to push his female priests/married priests agenda.

Our other parish is wonderful and we learn a lot but it is a hike. We go the children’s Mass where the pastor actually takes out a blackboard and instructs. What a blessing this man is!

Good luck.
 
This is a timely issue for me. DH and I are having a discussion right now on whether to leave our current parish or stick it out and try to make changes. We joined the parish recently when we moved to our new town. I am on the faith formation committee and it became apparent quickly that things were a bit off here.

Initally DH and I both thought to stay and fight, but in order to do that I have to come head to head with the Pastor and his DRE (a nun). I don’t want to have to FIGHT with them, it feels disrespectful and wrong to do that. And trust me, it would be a fight. They don’t agree with me, they don’t agree with the Church about some very important things. They told my DH that our kind of conservative catholicism (and I don’t mean traditionalist here–just plain old orthodoxy) wouldn’t be popular in the parish.

I have a job, two little kids. I barely have time to address their needs let alone engage in a campaign to convert the priest and DRE of our parish. I would support 100% someone who felt like doing this kind of thing, but I don’t feel like I am that person. I sound like I am whining here, I’m sorry. I am venting a bit.

Maybe the answer is this: if you feel drawn to stay and fight, that is probably what you are meant to do. If after prayerful consideration you still feel like hightailing it out of dodge, you might be justified by doing that too.

If you have advice or thoughts for me about this I would like to hear them, I am trying to discern what my next move should be.

God bless
n
 
Good point to pray and look for a call…there are conflicting duties and it’s not always easy for me to see where God wants me to work.

We’re getting ready to move and I’ve thought about what I (we) will do if we’re located in a “bad” parish.

I think there might be an obligation to our fellow Catholic parishoners as well.

When our priest spoke to the priest in the weird parish about some of his errors, the misguided priest said oh he doesn’t do that stuff when the Bishop comes. Maybe we need to send NWUArmyROTC or Br Rich as mercenaries into the weird parish in our town…I can hear the Clint Eastwood music playing already.
 
It might help if someone explained some of the abuses we’re speaking about. What are they?
 
My choice was to get out AND fight it. I could not continue to attend because the abuses were overshadowing my reason for being there. I was so distracted and offended that I couldn’t concentrate or pray. I had to leave. But I intend to be a catalyst for change at that other parish.

Examples of abuses? Eucharistic ministers wear name tags that say “bread”. The tabernacle is tucked so far in the corner that it is hardly noticable, much less reverences with a genuflection or even a bow. The altar is bare…no crucifix, etc. There is a full jazz band, electric guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, etc. Consecrated wine that is left over is just dumped down the sacrarium. Lay women have given the homily…need I go on?

Anyway, it seems to me the pastor lacks courage and the disipline to instruct, and the laity are ignorant about their faith. My approach will be to hold a series of classes on apologetics. I did this at my new parish (as a less threatening test) and it was very well received. I now have aspirations of doing this at many local parishes. If people understood the Eucharist, the Papacy, Marian doctrines, etc. I cannot imagine these abuses continuing.

Perhaps I am too optimistic. Time will tell.
 
Well, as I’ve written on other threads, I’ve bailed. And it was
almost like an answer to prayer. I had heard that the Rockford
Diocese has a good, conservative Bishop (Bishop Dolan) but
I would have had to drive about 50 miles to Church. Then I
found that the Rockford Diocese extends to the county just
a few miles south of me! I live in the Milwaukee Diocese, by
the way.

So I went over there about a year ago and I have been happy.
It is a very small parish, but they have Eucharistic Adoration,
and they are very traditional. I just couldn’t fight what was
going on in my parish. I’ve already explained on the Forum
about the priest’s wierd services.

And then, once a month, I trek down to Chicago to St. John
Cantius Church for the Tridentine Mass. It’s Heaven!

Mildred
 
Oh my gosh! I just reread my post and realived that I had
Bishop Dolan as the head of the Rockford Diocese! Actually, it is
Bishop Doran! You can see why I was confused.

Mildred
 
There is so many problems in the church, and I read this from a priest on another site that it should be addressed in the seminary. He said they should learn how to win friends and influence people. No I don’t have the site and I wish I did so I could post it here. We have A big problem. George
 
I’ve been in this situation. My wife and I were very active in a parish that went bad. The pastor, and his staff, began introducing New Age teaching, and promoting New Age speakers, such as Matthew Fox. We decided to fight, and got thrown out of the parish. The pastor told us that HE was the “Bishop” in that parish, and so he had the authority to teach whatever he thought was right.

We ended up moving to another parish, which turned out to be what God wanted. We’ve been in the new parish for over 10 years now, and it’s been like living in heaven. :yup:
 
Chris W:
Examples of abuses? Eucharistic ministers wear name tags that say “bread”. The tabernacle is tucked so far in the corner that it is hardly noticable, much less reverences with a genuflection or even a bow. The altar is bare…no crucifix, etc. There is a full jazz band, electric guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, etc. Consecrated wine that is left over is just dumped down the sacrarium. Lay women have given the homily…need I go on?
WHOA!!! :bigyikes: Bad news, very bad news… According to the new Vatican document regarding the liturgy, “Redemptionis Sacramentum”, in #107, it states:
  1. In accordance with what is laid down by the canons, “one who throws away the consecrated species or takes them away or keeps them for a sacrilegious purpose, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; a cleric, moreover, may be punished by another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state”.194 To be regarded as pertaining to this case is any action that is voluntarily and gravely disrespectful of the sacred species. Anyone, therefore, who acts contrary to these norms, for example casting the sacred species into the sacrarium or in an unworthy place or on the ground, incurs the penalties laid down.195
I don’t think they can write much more forcefully than that… :nope:

You need to speak to your bishop ASAP about this abuse. The document says later on:
  1. Delicts against the faith as well as *graviora delicta *committed in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments are to be referred without delay to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which “examines [them] and, if necessary, proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law”.288
This referral to Rome should, by ordinary means, be done by the pastor’s bishop–not the laity. However, if after following up on this with your bishop you are still concerned, the document also states that the laity have the right (and even obligation if the need exists) to write directly to Rome. Keep copies of all correspondence you make with the bishop, so that if need be you can send them yourself to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (telling your bishop what you are doing and why, of course).

I will be praying for that parish community, and that pastor!

As for whether you should leave a bad parish or not, in cases like this I say absolutely, at least for your own spiritual care. I agree with the other poster who said that it made a difference whether it was the pastor or the parishoners who were trying to make changes. I myself am currently in a parish where there has been a history of abuses by past pastors and liturgists, but now we have been assigned a new orthodox pastor and I feel called to stay and help him at this crucial time.

God bless!

+veritas+
 
This is an interesting thread that I found that applies to our family. I would like to attend a beautiful old style Catholic church which offers a diocesan approved TLM. My husband doesn’t want to leave our parish. He says it’s too much like his protestant family who just move to a parish to suit them until that one no longer appears to be teaching the truth then they move on again. He wants to stay in one place and try to make changes from within. I think that is very difficult if the priest is liberal. I believe we have the truth in the Catechism and only need follow that to know if a parish is truly Catholic or not & that we should seek it out.
 
40.png
Rivera:
Initally DH and I both thought to stay and fight, but in order to do that I have to come head to head with the Pastor and his DRE (a nun).
Say this prayer: “Lord, change ‘em or exchange ‘em.”

This prayer has always worked for me. 🙂
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top